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Harry Anders is a former MI6 agent who now owns a bar. When a beautiful woman literally runs into him, they fall in love (lust perhaps). When she finds out about his history, she asks him to help with a problem she has. Harry is forced to re-enter the dangerous world of espionage once more. Written by
Yes, it's a British action film and Sir Michael is rather too old and although he's a big man etc etc (see "Get Carter") to credibly do "action" in all its established forms including deeply impress hot chick (Sean Young) which by custom he is supposed to do. Reaction to it seems to be generous condemnation from domestic reviewers and moderate enjoyment elsewhere.
The film itself rather resembles its own torture scene - a series of flash-backs but in this case of a dozen and more earlier movies some of which starred Caine or Bob Hoskins (one with the torture scene starred Dick Powell). That is a mixed blessing - on the down side it has all been done and seen before, some as has been noted, in British budget made-for-TV series - themselves lifted and downsized from big screen originals. This though is where all resemblances to the likes of "The Sweeney" and "The Professionals" ends.
Here there's stars a-plenty, and a good British cast. Added to which is the lovely cinematography particularly of Soho night exteriors. Caine and Hoskins are inescapably stars and watchable whatever they do, this time they reprise some of their famous roles - Hoskins his star turn in "Long Good Friday." Caine "The Ipcress File and "Get Carter". Even Alun Armstrong gets it a second time doing a Caine a favour - thought he might have learnt by now. But audiences had left cinemas wanting more and here we have more. And no bad thing at all. Oh, one other thing, Harry Palmer didn't smile, Caine here does too much. Perhaps he was having too much fun and lacked a director willing to tell him. Remember what Roman Polanski is said to have said on the subject.
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